The Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard is my new favorite travel rewards card. It has become our household’s go-to card for our routine expenses. There is a reason why this credit card was named by Money magazine as the best travel rewards credit cards for 2013!
One of the best things about this card is the sign-up bonus. If you spend $3000 within the first 90 days of opening the card, you receive a bonus of 40,000 miles (which equates to $400 in travel rewards). Not only that, but when you redeem miles for travel with the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard®you also get 10% back in points, bringing the total value of the sign-up bonus to $440!
That’s hard to beat! As I recently wrote about, so far my hubby and I have already earned enough in rewards with this card to get a free rental car for five days and three free nights in a hotel. Score!! If you are looking for a way to earn points for free (or cheap!) travel, this may be the card you are looking for.
As with any financial decision, there are pros and cons associated with a credit card, so I will do my best to lay those out for you.
1) The signup bonus, as detailed above. To briefly recap, if you spend $3000 within 90 days of opening the card, you earn a travel reward equivalent to $400 in travel expenses. Many other cards out there require a higher spend within a shorter period of time. The signup bonus alone is one of the reasons why the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard® is one of the best rewards credit cards currently available.
2) The rewards on the premium version of the card are earned as follows: 2 miles earned for every $1 spent on ALL purchases (not like some cards, where you only get the double miles if you spend at gas stations, certain retailers, whatever)! That’s like getting 2% cash back on all of your purchases!! And there are no caps on the amount of miles that you can earn with this card.
3) Receive 10% of your miles back when you redeem your miles for travel purchases. For example, when you spend the awesome $400 signup bonus on travel, you will receive $40 worth of rewards back (bringing to total value of the signup bonus to $440!) That’s a fantastic perk, and it’s really hard to beat.
4) Redeeming rewards on this card is super easy. When I log into my account I can see how many dollars worth of rewards I’ve earned. There are several options on ways to use the miles, including Pay Yourself Back For Travel (the best way to redeem because of the 10% of miles back option), Cash back, Gift cards, or Merchandise. A few clicks and Voila! Miles redeemed easily for purchases within the last 90 days.
5) The Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard® offers an introductory 0% APR on both purchases and balance transfers for a period of one year. This is a nice perk for those who may carry a balance on the card or wish to save on interest by transferring balances from other cards.
6) The annual fee for the first year is waived. Beyond the first year when the annual fee kicks in, it is $89 per year.
7) No foreign transaction fees.
8) No blackout dates when redeeming travel rewards. You can book through any airline, hotel, or discount travel engine.
9) Access to your FICO score online for FREE. How cool is that???
1) Basically, there are few cons with this card. The biggest one that comes to mind is the fact that if you keep the card beyond one year it does have an annual fee of $89 per year.
2) The interest rate after the first year is variable, between 14.99-18.99%. While that may be comparable with other cards, it is still variable.
Don’t Want a Card With An Annual Fee?
Not interested in an annual fee? No worries! There’s another version of the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard® Other differences associated with that version of the card are the fact that the signup bonus is only worth 20,000 miles ($200 travel rewards equivalent), and you only earn 2 miles per dollar on Travel and Dining purchases, NOT on all purchases as is the case with the premium version of this card (described above). You earn 1 mile per dollar spent on all purchases from other categories. Aside from these differences, the other perks of the premium version of the card are also available in this version.
Overall, we love this card. We’ve already earned some great rewards and it’s helped us pay for travel expenses on three different trips so far. It easy to use and has many benefits. There’s a good chance that this one is going to have a place in our wallets for many years to come. This is the first card we’ve ever had that has the benefit of no foreign transaction fees, which is not necessarily a biggie to most people UNTIL you go to travel internationally and get a foreign fee shocker on your credit card when you get home! We love that little perk especially.
I must throw in here the standard disclaimer that this is a credit card and it is totally possible to get yourself into trouble with a credit card if you are not in very good control of your spending. If this is a problem for you, do not get credit cards for their rewards.
What do you think of the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard? Do you carry it in your wallet? Have you had good experience with using credit cards for their rewards?
DC @ Young Adult Money says
Both my wife I recently finished churning the Barclaycard and we are definitely happy with the result. We haven’t planned a trip yet but it’s on our ‘to do’ list this Spring/Summer once we get a better handle on her grad school schedule and both our work schedules.
Dee S says
Nice! That’ll be something to keep in your back pocket for when you need a vacation from work and school!
We both have the Barclay Arrival Card and love it!
Dee S says
Especially the signup bonus is hard to beat!
Natalie @ Financegirl says
Thanks for breaking down these details! I know I will not be using credit cards in my future (I’ve never had one!), but I do think that if you’re going to have one, using one with a lot of rewards is great.
Dee S says
Yep, this is our fav. But I totally understand when people don’t use credit cards, as sometimes for some folks it’s not worth the risk of getting into (or getting back into) debt.
Brian @ Luke1428 says
I know many people benefit from the credit card reward system. I could never make it work for me. I ended up spending too much so we got rid of ours. The savings I generated from going to a debit/cash payment system far outweighed (in my mind) any benefits we were receiving from credit cards.
Dee S says
That’s great that you figured that out! We love using credit cards for rewards, but I never fault those who choose not to because the best option is the one that works for you!
Suburban Finance says
I’ve been looking for travel rewards card recently. I’m not necessarily going to apply for a new card, but just in case. This card seems like a good one, thank you for sharing 🙂
Dee S says
No prob! We love this one, it’s definitely our fav.
Mel @ brokeGIRLrich says
I definitely took my first steps into travel hacking with this card and I love it! When I signed up for it, I set a reminder in my phone about when to call to downgrade it to the no-fee version, but the perks are so good and easy to use, that I really suspect it’s going to pay for itself. I may just stick with it. I love that it works on subway cards and train passes too since I buy them all the time.
Dee S says
We feel the same way- we may keep it. We travel a fair amount for work, so we could continue to benefit from the rewards ongoing. It’s our new favorite card!